Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Kid

How can our precious little cotton-topped angel possibly be old enough to be starting junior high school. Wasn't he pulling up on my pant leg just a few months ago? Wasn't Andy carrying him around the house helping mom take care of him just last week. Didn't he learn to ride his bike just a few days ago. Now his head is even with my shoulders, he knows almost as much about computers as I do, and he's playing the drums in the 6th grade band! What happened? I wasn't through with my little boy yet. I haven't finished throwing him up in the air to see just how big he can grin. I still want to read books to him in bed at night and wake him up by crawling in bed with him and tickling him. I'm not through rocking him in my recliner when he's tired and wants to be held. I want to be the person with whom he'd rather spend all his time. Where's the little boy who said that I was his best friend?

Melissa's cousin Paula is here this weekend with her husband Chris and their new baby girl, Elizabeth Grace. Watching her just reminded me of how big my boys have gotten and how much I miss the days when they were just babies laying on a blanket in the floor or when they were just toddlers crawling around getting into things. I know I can't go back and recapture those days, but I can make the most of the days that are left. If I make a commitment to spend quality time with my sons then maybe I'll feel important to them again. If I listen to them and try to remember what it's like to be their age then maybe I'll feel connected to them again. And if I give him my full attention and do everything I can to make him know how important he is to me, then maybe, just maybe, I'll be his best friend again. I love you, Alex!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Return

Yes, I finally have a little time to post a new blog entry. Between tech camp, in-service, and preparing for school I've been too busy to even relax much less blog. School has started now and except for the expected technological glitches that come with every new school year, everything seems to be running pretty smoothly. Hopefully things will start to slow down just a little as we get back into a routine and adjust to early mornings and long days.

Alex loves junior high! He came home Monday and said "It was a perfect day!" He's in the percussion section of the 6th grade band and he is so excited that he gets to have his mom's old band director. Mr. Currie has such a fantastic influence on young people. Alex is fortunate to get to work with him. He can't wait to get his MacBook laptop computer. He has been looking forward to it all summer. He is getting to take a class called Explorations where he will get to learn a lot about how to use the computer and will complete many projects using it.

Aric says that he feels "weird" being at CES without Alex, especially riding the bus to the high school by himself. He really likes his teacher though. Today, the teaching assistant told me that Aric already has Miss Stewart "wrapped around his pinky" so I guess that means he is behaving. At open house last night Miss Stewart bragged and bragged on him. We are fortunate to have such an outstanding team of teachers in our elementary school.

As much as we enjoy our summer break, it's nice to be back at school and experiencing all that comes with it. The seasons will soon start to change and the fall weather that Melissa enjoys so much will bring cooler temperatures and earlier sunsets. That which seems so new to us now will start to be "old shoe" again as we fall into the schedules and routines that we develope every year and eventually we will begin to long for the sunshine and relaxation of summer again.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The One

Sometimes I get a little reminder of just how wonderful my wife actually is -- whether I need to be reminded or not. This weekend we were in the local city park for a church function and we decided to walk over to the playground and watch our kids and the other church kids while they played. Not too far from where we sat on a bench one of the other kids fell from pretty high up and landed on his face and chest. After a few seconds of stunned silence, the kid began to moan and that very quickly evolved to a frightened sob. He was shocked more that hurt and although I figured as much, it was still startling to witness.

As I sat there not knowing exactly what to do, before I could process enough to even stand up, Melissa was on her feet crossing the short distance to the fallen boy. As I finally made my way up to my feet to follow her lead, she had already made her way to the boy's side and was holding him in her arms, brushing the dust off of his cheek, holding his head against her shoulder, and consoling him as only a mother could do. Once she had settled him down and check him out for any serious injury, she helped him to his feet and again put her arms around him and held him tight.

Now, keep in mind that this is not a small child. He was at least 10 years old and despite being surrounded by several of his peers, he offered no resistance to her comfort, her affection, or even her embrace. It seemed to be exactly what he needed. Within a minute or two he was walking away discussing the event with his friends and probably enjoying the attention. And all I could do was stand there and watch the entire incident as a spectator.

I have to admit that I was proud of my wife that evening. Not because she reacted so swiftly, which she did. Not because she has the intuition to know what a child needs when he needs it, which she does. And not because she can defuse the anxiety of a stressful situation, which she can (and often does living with me). I was proud because she rushed to the aid of another person without abandon or reluctance.

It's troubling when we see video footage of a man hit by a vehicle lying on the street as people walk past or of a woman collapse in a ER waiting room and die before anyone checks on her. It's comforting to know that I will spend the rest of my life with a woman who cares. I am reminded of the story of the good Samaritan and I am blessed to loved by a "good Samaritan" of my own.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Plunge

Am I really doing this? Although I've always enjoyed reading other blogs, I never really saw myself as being a blogger. Who would want to read what I have to say? Maybe no one, but here I go anyway.

We are two weeks away from the beginning of a new school year. My 16th at Childress High School. Where did the summer go? By this time each year I am ready to go back to work and get into a routine again but my wife is so...not. She would take several more weeks or even months off if she could. I've been sitting at home long enough. I know that I will be much more productive once school starts again. Even here at home.

My life has revolved around school either as a student or as a teacher for so long now that my body and my mind are in a constant cycle: the beginning of school, football season, the holiday season, mid-term, the new year, basketball season, TAKS season and tax season, spring sports, banquets (prom, sports banquet, etc.), the end-of-year crunch and, finally, afterglow...summer...and all the peace, comfort and relaxation that comes with it. I've followed this same cycle for so long that I don't really know any different.

I vow to myself right now to make this year different! If my life is in that much of a rut it's because I have let it and only I can change that. There are already changes taking place in my life so what better time for a complete overhaul. My only goal is to be the best at whatever I am doing. That means being the best father, husband, son, teacher, student, friend and Christian that I possibly can be. If I can do that then by the end of this school year I'll be "running on empty".